Empty Homes

Options for bringing your empty property back into use

The following example shows the estimated annual cost of keeping a property empty in Rotherham and takes into account how long the property has been empty.

Associated charges Empty Property Estimated cost per annum

Council Tax (Based on Band A in 2022/2023)


Empty property premium charge as per below


Empty over two years


Empty over five years


Empty over ten years


Maintenance (garden clearance, drain down, clearing gutters)


Utilities – Standing Charge**


Gas – 27.22p -37.28/day**


Electricity – 45.34 – 50.27p/day**


Water, surface water and sewerage^


Security (Preventing access; boarding-up of the property)


Vacant Property Insurance (based on costs for 2021/22)


Total – For a property empty for less than two years


A property empty for over two years


A property empty for over five years


A property empty for over ten years


* Average UK Household Budget 2021

** What are the price cap unit rates? (moneysavingexpert.com)

^ Customers with a meter - Yorkshire Water/

*** A Guide To Unoccupied Home Insurance - MoneySuperMarket

Leaving a property empty could result in a nett loss of between £2,580.59 and £6,762.00 annually and is dependent upon how long it has been empty, as shown in the above table.

The following outlines the benefits of bringing an empty property back into use and either selling it or renting it out on the open market.


There are many ways to sell your empty property; on the open market, through an auction or through a 'quick house sale' company; each option having their own pros and cons.

An estate agent will value the property and give you advice about selling the property. If you choose to sell, they should advertise the property in their office, via local media and put the property on the internet. They will arrange and conduct viewings and arrange an Energy Performance Certificate. Estate agents do typically charge a fee for selling a property.

Another option may be to sell the property privately. You would be responsible for the marketing of the property, organising viewings and arranging the Energy Performance Certificate. This may result in fewer viewings than an estate agency as it may be difficult to reach a wider audience, but this process could save you money in estate agency fees.

An ideal way of ensuring that you gain the best possible price and avoid any last-minute hitches is to consider selling your property at auction. Similar to selling with an estate agent, it is worth undertaking some research into auctions beforehand and shopping around to find the auctioneers that suits you best. There will be costs attached to selling at auction.

You might consider the use of a ‘quick sale’ company. These companies offer to buy your house quickly at a discounted price. However, if you do consider using a ‘quick sale’ company you may wish to read the advice offered by https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/


Discover how property auctions work, plus the benefits and risks of buying and selling property at auction.

Property auctions - Discover how property auctions work, plus the benefits and risks of buying and selling property at auctions

The average sales value for a Band A rated property, once associated charges have been accounted for, is between £100,000 and £145,000, as shown in the table below.

Type of property Average sales value (March 2022) Expected sales value once charges have been accounted for Estate agent fees (Average - 1.42%)+ Clearance cost++

Terraced property





Semi-detached property





+ How much should I pay the estate agent?

++ How much does it cost to clear a house?



Properties can be let privately or through a recognised letting agent.

The benefits of using a good, accredited agent, albeit at a cost, is that they will manage the property for you as well as making sure that you meet all your legal responsibilities as a landlord.

Before signing with any letting agent please check that they are a member of both an appropriate body such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) or a similar body and they belong to an approved redress scheme; both of which are there to protect you and your tenants.

Find out about the redress scheme

Should the property owner wish to keep the property, an alternative option for reducing the cost of keeping your property empty is to let it on the private rental market. This is extremely beneficial if you do not have a mortgage on the property, if you do have an existing mortgage you will have to inform your mortgage lender and arrange for a consent for lease.

The following table provides indicative annual costs that a landlord can expect to receive and pay towards managing a rental property. It is by no means all-inclusive and offers an estimate of the associated costs related to renting. It is anticipated that anyone considering becoming a landlord should look at all the information available to enable them to decide whether it is appropriate for them or not.

Associated costs Two-bedroom property Three-bedroom property

Market Rent annual value






Letting agent fees (10-15%) based on annual rent



Landlord Insurance



Repairs (assume 20% of annual rent)



Certificates (EPC (£60), Gas (£80), Electrical (£150-£250))



Landlord membership



Expected annual rental once charges have been accounted for



# How to rent out your house

Should an empty property owner choose to become a landlord, bringing an empty property back into use could result in a net gain of around £6,865.79 - £7,071.51 per year, for letting out a two-bedroom property.